Today I am 29. It’s sort of a funny age, would you agree? It sounds oldish “Twenty-nine. Hello, I’m twenty-nine.” Probably because of the “nine” which I think makes everything sound a little like “ninety-nine” which actually is old. I am going to focus on this idea of having one more year in my twenties-”twenties” sounds nice and young. For whatever reason, this birthday feels sort of monumental, not because of turning 29, instead because I am now only one year from the big 3-0, (which, actually sounds younger that twenty NINE to me, but is older. Sort of a big welcome to real-live-adulthood birthday.) Moving on from the numbers, let’s talk about celebrations, and a cool project.
About two weeks ago I received an email about creating a custom poster for a sweet woman who will turn 50 on July 5th this year. She explained that she had seem some of my letterpress work, and the project baby countdown tee, and wanted to have a countdown calendar “to remind [her] to celebrate every day until [her] birthday.” What a great idea!
We settled on a screen print, rather than a letter pressed poster because it made a lot more sense cost-wise. Then I got to designing some mock ups. She loved the perpetual calendar and modern appeal of this design, and the color decisions were finalized, so I could begin to print.
The actual printing process was quite a comedy of errors. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way (by having every single thing that could go wrong go wrong:) During the four days and around ten hours I spent in the studio working on this, I pretty much got a crash course in large-format, fine-detail, multi-color screen printing. It was awesome. And a little stressful. But mostly awesome. I’m lucky to have the best neighbor ever who took the boys while I learned and learned some more.
It’s pretty hilarious how many bad prints pile up before a good one is created. I suspect the ratio improves with experience. The studio was filled with shiny, happy red 50′s. I was supremely excited about every improvement. By the fourth day printing. I felt like I was making decisions based on experience, rather than just taught ideas.
In the end, the print that emerged was beautiful. I sort of wanted to keep it to hang on my wall. But that wouldn’t make any sense at all, as my birthday is not in July and that big 5 would need to be a 3. I sent it off in the mail yesterday and hope it makes the birthday girl very happy.
What I do plan on keeping from this project, is the idea of celebrating. At some point, since it will now be old hat, I think I’ll make myself a birthday countdown poster, with 366 days to cross off until the big 3-0. It is leap-year, you know:)
In the meantime, I have come up with a list: Thirty things to do before I turn Thirty. Most of them I have done before, some not. But I have never done them all in one year. What I wanted to focus on was experiences rather than projects, because you know as well as I that the projects will come.
So here it is, in no particular order, my Thirty to Thirty:
watch a sunrise
watch a sunset
sleep under the stars with the boys (5/11 Prince William Forrest. Rad.)
complete a triathalon
build a fort with the boys (6/18, and we sat under the sheet eating sandwiches and reading books and snuggling for hours. It was divine.)
swim in the ocean
go latin dancing with Dave
see a musical
see an opera
dance at an outdoor concert
read Jesus the Christ
bake french macaroons (2/13, and it went so well again in March.)
pick and can whole peaches
row a boat (5/25, kayaking with Dave on the Potomac. We raced under the bridge. It was fun.)
build a sandcastle, with a moat
picnic along the river
collect colorful leaves
summit a peak
sing in the rain
record my lullabies
bake an angel food cake
host a cheese tasting
build a real snowman
go on a bug hunt with the boys
drive over the Bay bridge
fly a kite
roast marshmallows and weenies over a campfire
swing on a swing set (Hooray! Did this one this afternoon at the park with Eliot on my lap and Dave-who surprised me by taking the day off- and Milo playing catch with a pretend ball. It was awesome.)
Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful year? I think so, too. I am excited to make plans including some of these fun experiences and really enjoy this whole growing up thing.